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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Christine Merrell

Merrell, C., Styles, I., Jones, P., Tymms, P. & Wildy, H. (2013). Cross-country Comparisons of Inattentive, Hyperactive and Impulsive Behaviour in School-Based Samples of Young Children. International Research in Early Childhood Education 4(1): 1-17.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper uses the Rasch measurement model to analyse data collected on children’s attention,
activity and impulsiveness at the end of their first year at school by teachers in England, Scotland
and Australia. The analysis offers insights into differences in teachers’ perceptions of children’s
behaviour between countries and changes with age. The analysis of large school-based samples
from three countries (approximately 2,500 children per country) indicated that the Scottish
teachers perceived the behaviour of their pupils as more problematic than teachers in Australia and
England. The reasons for this are not clear but it raises issues for researchers wishing to compare
behaviour characteristics internationally. Possible ways forward are discussed.